Purpose: An increasing number of young physicians in Taiwan terminate their postgraduate year or specialty training in favor of working in aesthetic clinics or other industries. Some choose to return to teaching hospitals and complete their specialty training, while others choose alternative pathways. This study aims to understand the reasons and significance of this problem and explore what makes these young physicians change career paths. Methods: This preliminary study collected data via in-depth interviews and analyzed the transcripts using the template coding method. Eight participants recruited via snowball sampling were classified into three groups: those who returned to the training system after diverging, those who decided to work in the cosmetic industry, and those who decided to work in other fields. Results: This study summarizes the internal and external factors that impacted the participants' identity formation and drove them to make a detour on their career paths. Their timelines were also incorporated into the analysis. The results showed that the participants encountered hardships in the internship stage that made them reconsider whether they should devote themselves to medicine. Conclusions: Diverging from the clinical pathway provides a buffer for young physicians who encounter difficulties during training. However, choosing aesthetic medicine during such a transitional period might not solve their identity problems, not until they found more supports. Assisting young doctors to nurture their self-identity as well as their professional ones would serve as a more effective strategy than focusing only on either of them.
- professional identity formation
- aesthetic medicine
- career path
- young physicians